[FH]: What is the problem you are addressing at hAPI and how do you solve it?
[DN]: hAPI was created to streamline the digital transformation of onboarding data intensive processes. Our software retrieves and aggregates all the mandatory information and necessary documents (in seconds/real time) for processes such as: credit processes, document authentication, filling in forms, management software and risk analysis. The challenge we propose is simple and clear: with hAPI a customer might open a bank account in 20 seconds or even get an answer to a loan request 45 seconds after getting on the bank website.
[FH]: What differentiates hAPI from other competitors?
[DN]: There is no direct competition in Portugal. hAPI is not an OCR (optical character recognition) software such as DocDigitizer or ABBYY, is not a business directory database and it’s not a PSD2 integrator. The market positioning of hAPI goes beyond these mentioned segments despite collecting data from other sources, despite accessing to sources that are by themselves databases and despite being able also to collect data from banks. We believe that we can add a lot of value not only in a process efficiency level -by avoiding wasting resources, efforts, and time – but also giving the opportunity to our clients to know their own customer much better and adjust the work according with that
[FH]: How is the credit origination process experience?
[DN]: Generically the credit origination process experience in Portugal has not evolved from what it was 10 years ago. Since the data/documents requested, the way these information and documents are collected, the validation mechanisms of that same information, almost nothing has changed. Also talking about the risk of fraud associated, in Portugal probably the risk models used are the same for a decade, based on documentation that may not be updated, that might be manipulated (salary receipts for example) everything significantly manual. hAPI appears to simplify and mitigate all this complexity. Allowing the collection of all the information and documentation necessary in seconds, through 1 or 2 logins directly from the clients. Our solution brings benefits not only for the Banks (Reduction of total costs involved in each process, Elimination of the risk of fraud and Increased conversion rate), but also for their clients (simpler process, process completed in seconds, data is provided and handled safety).
[FH]: Being a B2B startup, what are the main challenges you face when connecting with mature players? What advice would you give to overcome those challenges?
[DN]: From our experience, and according to our service, most of the time the most challenging thing is to find the right person/team within the company. The person who might be able to “take the idea forward”. After that we also feel, by being a startup and interacting with mature players, that being advised and investing in legal opinion is a plus, in order to confirm and validate how reliable and robust our solution is.
[FH]: Portuguese startups are required to think internationally from day one, did the same happen to hAPI? Which countries would you start looking at for potential expansion?
[DN]: Yes, we have felt that since day one and we still feel that “pressure” to think internationally, especially from our investors. However, we are focused on consolidating the Portuguese market, we still have space to grow, but the truth is that we have had several interactions with European and African operators, who have shown a lot of interest in our service. We believe that very soon we will be starting our internationalization process.